Mentoring: Sharing a Journey
It has been said that man's pride tells him to journey alone; man's heart tells him to remain quiet; man's mind tells him nobody will understand; and man's emotions tell him to keep it under control. In the second chapter of the Bible, God tells us a fundamental truth about ourselves. He says without wavering, "It is not good for man to be alone..." (Genesis 2:18, NIV 2011). Why? Because when God created us, He created us as social creatures to have companionship with one another. An important part of companionship for believers is Christian discipleship and mentoring. Christian mentoring can be defined in many ways, but generally speaking, it is a one-on-one relational experience in which one person empowers another person by investing their God-given wisdom and resources. Investing wisdom comes when we connect with a person who has not yet been through the trenches of life we have previously encountered. It is the act of imparting wisdom from one believer to another through the process of listening, talking and developing trust. It involves the investment of time, energy and compassion.
Being a mentor is typically modeling and teaching other Christians the precepts of the Bible and Christian life—mainly prayer, doctrine, Christian living and worship. It is practicing what Romans calls mutual faith, which means encouragement, support and exercise of our spiritual gifts, all working as a team to inspire, encourage and instruct one another (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Being a mentor to a young medical student who is either in or considering a psychiatry residency is an opportunity for mutual faith, as well as a chance to connect to the new generation of psychiatrists while imparting life lessons and wisdom gained through years of practice as a practicing Christian psychiatrist. It is an opportunity to dig deep and help prepare a resident for some of the spiritual challenges, frustrations and disappointments they will face. It is also an opportunity to share some of the spiritual highs and victories of your medical practice. The relationship developed during the mentoring term may only be for a short season or may last a lifetime.
Each year we receive numerous requests from Christian medical students and residents who are interested in psychiatry and want to be connected to a Christian psychiatrist for much needed encouragement and support. Between telephone and video conferencing options, geography need not be a barrier in connecting mentors with students/residents.
Unconsciously, each of us is a mentor and a coach at various times in our life. Some choose to formally enter into relationships specifically focused on mutual faith, discipleship and coaching. Some choose to invest in the lives of others through spontaneous vignettes which occur at God ordained places and times. Regardless of how God uses us, He will use us! If you would be willing to serve as a mentor, please contact us so we can discuss your thoughts, add your name to our mentor list and connect you as the opportunity presents itself with residents and medical students interested in the field of psychiatry. In the near future, when we receive a request for a contact or mentor for a student or resident, we’ll get back with you with the specifics of how the process can work.
If you want to participate, but don’t feel you have the resources you need, contact us and we can assist you. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.